The Agile City

Building Well-being and Wealth in an Era of Climate Change

  • Authors
  • James S. Russell

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
    1. James S. Russell
      Pages 1-12
  2. The Land

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 13-13
    2. James S. Russell
      Pages 35-53
  3. Repairing the Dysfunctional Growth Machine

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 55-56
    2. James S. Russell
      Pages 57-82
    3. James S. Russell
      Pages 83-102
    4. James S. Russell
      Pages 103-123
    5. James S. Russell
      Pages 125-145
  4. Agile Urban Futures

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 147-151
    2. James S. Russell
      Pages 153-175
    3. James S. Russell
      Pages 177-197
    4. James S. Russell
      Pages 199-220
    5. James S. Russell
      Pages 221-240
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 241-290

About this book


Americans are waking up to the realization that global warming poses real challenges to the nation’s prosperity. In The Agile City, journalist and urban analyst James S. Russell engages the million dollar question: what do we do about it?

The answer lies in changing our fundamental approach to growth. Improved building techniques can readily cut carbon emissions by half, and some can get to zero. These cuts can be affordably achieved in windshield-shattering desert heat and the bone-chilling cold of the north. Intelligently designing our towns, suburbs, and cities could reduce commutes and child chauffeuring to a few miles or eliminate it entirely. Who wouldn’t want a future like that?

Agility, Russell explains, also means learning to adapt to the effects of climate change, which means redesigning the obsolete ways we finance real estate; distribute housing subsidies; provide transportation; and obtain, distribute, and dispose of water. These engines of growth have become increasingly dysfunctional both economically and environmentally.

The Agile City highlights tactics that create multiplier effects. Ecologically driven change can stimulate economic opportunity, make more productive workplaces, and help revive neglected communities. Considering multiple effects and benefits of political choices and private investments is essential to assuring wealth and well-being. The Agile City shows that change undertaken at the building and community level, with ingenuity and resourcefulness, makes the future look very green indeed.


Climatic changes Economic development Financial crises Government policy Sustainable development

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Materials & Steel
Chemical Manufacturing
Finance, Business & Banking
Energy, Utilities & Environment
Oil, Gas & Geosciences